shouting and hiding..

I'm not really sure where to start with this post.. you know when you get an idea, or something you really want to write about and then you don't really know what to say.. or how to say it.  If we were sat opposite each other right this second I could explain it in two seconds flat.. but writing it is always harder.

For the past couple of weeks I've been reading (like normal) all my favourite blogs.. keeping in the loop, seeing what they're up to and the same themes seem to keep popping up.. shouting and hiding.  The new year always seems to create a surge of renewing.. we get bigger and better.. we get new ideas being launched.. we get projects set.. ambitions declared.. all this amazing stuff happening and we all shout about it.. fighting to be heard.. fighting to stay ahead of the game.  But it is exhausting.. keeping up.. keeping your toe in.. always being heard.  Even the ones that you look up to and always seem to so effortlessly do it are admitting the struggle.. that feeling that everything is kinda going in a direction and actually I couldn't even tell you if it is the right direction because I CAN'T HEAR MYSELF THINK!?!?

I was asked some questions for a book about business recently and one of the questions was 'What are my goals for this year?'  I suddenly felt under pressure.. urrrmmm shoot more weddings.. streamline the business a bit more.. maybe go on holiday?!? What's wrong with just wanting to keep doing what I'm doing.. and doing it well?  I felt like it wasn't enough.. shouldn't I should be setting that bar even higher.. have 10 projects that I'm secretly working on ready to launch.. be reinventing something.. announcing something.. actually, I have got something to announce.. I've started jogging.  It was bloody hard at first and I could run for about 3 minutes and had to stop but the other day I ran for 22 minutes.. 22!  And I'm SO glad I'm doing it because it gives me space.. I get 40 minutes of clarity.. no email.. no tweets.. no facebook comments.. no trying to keep up.. no elbowing, no 'like' checking.. it's absolute bliss.  Sometimes I like hiding.

Chris Barber Photography

There are always other ways to shut out the noise...

* I want to add to this post as I've had lots of comments and tweets from peeps that seem to be having a lot of these feelings themselves.  My friend Lauren tweeted me with a link to a TED talk by Dr Brene Brown entitled 'Wholeheartedness'... I urge you to give yourself some time and to have a watch.. it's pretty interesting...


  1. love this.. I'm really struggling at the moment and the end of last year was so hard. I like the waves and when you do work for yourself there are no holidays or sick days. Which on some days can be the most rewarding thing in the world and on others the most claustrophobic.

    I love watching you two and your business grow. I've worked with my boy for 7 years now and I love seeing others going through the same things.

    ps - love the lamp shade!

  2. Haha love you! PS if I'd run 22 minutes I'd be dead so you should be bloody proud of yourself. The thing will social media as it can seem that everyone is so desperate to over share everything! But often its the quiet ones you've got to watch out for ;-p

  3. Oh my god, I totally feel the same way! So well put. 2012 was actually quite a tough year for me but we came through it and have learned loads, I feel really positive but all I want to do this year is keep on keeping on! Oh, and enjoy myself more. But it is so hard not to feel the need to compare yourself to others and worry that you're not keeping up. Pass me the lampshade!

  4. You know how much I love you, Emma. You always say exactly what we're all thinking, but are too busy/wrappedupinitall/scared to say. You are so right. There is a pressure to appear to be 'on the right track' whatever the hell that means. I've slowly realised that as much as I think I want HUGE success, that would also mean sacrificing other things in life, like time with Max before he hits sulky, spotty puberty. So, balance is all. I'm glad the jogging is working out for you *still don't understand people who jog* ;)

  5. Love your little disclaimer at the end... "There are always other ways to shut out the noise..." haha. Brilliant post. Sometimes pressure is a positive emotion and can benefit all involved. Other times its just background noise and makes you realise that your greatest achievements have probably already happened and you missed it by keeping up appearances. Then you when you get that little leap of joy from randomly acknowledging your success it suddenly confirms that actually you are doing ok. Everything is just fine. Jog-on!

  6. This is an interesting subject. Nearly every self-employed/freelance/small business person I know feels the same when you scratch beneath the surface. I think social media arrogance makes us feel like we should be performing better but I just think of it like the school playground - I didn't let the loud-mouths affect me at school and I won't now.

  7. I was trying to write goals after seeing a dozen or so of them pop up on blog posts, so looked back at the ones i had last year - i managed to achieve lots of them which i was really chuffed about. But business wise it made me think really i just want it to be the same as last year, which was pretty cool.

    The only goal i could think of was to actually use one of the cookbooks that gathers dust in my kitchen, not sure it will improve my business but reckon the husband will be happy!

  8. Great post Emma and keep up the running. Great for the head, waistline and soul. Love your honesty and do not think you need to set any new work goals as you are doing pretty well as you are. I'm with Kirsten on the getting the balance/spending time with the kids being really important but not with her on the running bit ;-)

  9. Great post.

    I also love to switch off and often remind myself some of my favourite wedding & portrait photographers 'don't do' twitter, facebook, pinterest, instagram or whatever. I've cut the amount of networks I want to be part of and time spent on them, there's only so much shouting I can take before feeling exhausted. It's amazing how some can shoot 60 weddings a year, enjoy their family and manage to 'like', post, tweet and comment seemingly all day long, It makes me tired just thinking of the social network workload... Never mind running a business and shooting all those weddings.

    My goals? Aims? I'm always looking to improve the business, our new passports arrived the other day so definitely a family holiday... A family holiday in August! Almost unheard of in the wedding world ;). I've room for more weddings and I'm looking forward to pursuing a personal project. I'd like to shoot a wedding in Ibiza but have done zero in netting one so that will remain a dream for now.

  10. Great Post Emma and it is true as self employed people in the age of social media we are all constantly comparing our efforts and achievements to others and always striving to be the best we can be.
    At the beginning of last year after slogging my guts out the year before to build my business I kind of thought to myself what's wring with just staying as I am...treading water in a way, well that's how it felt. In fact it's not treading water it's holding down a business, doing something we love and being able to pay ourselves a wage in the process...Now that's something to shout about!
    This year I haven't set myself any goals, I have a number of 'projects' i would love to get started on, but at the same time I know I also need a life!
    There is so much pressure on us to be better than the year before, better than the person next to you doing the same thing, but surely the most important ting is being happy!
    This year I'm going to do one thing more and that is congratulate myself more! Celebrate my achievements instead of beating myself up about the small things.

    Thanks for writing this post Emma, and well done on the running! I get out of breath running up the stairs!

  11. I totally identify with this post I have been poorly and had to take time out to really heal myself and think and hear inside myself what I really wanted. Taking a massive risk soon and I may fall over but I'm doing it with love in my heart and to me that's all you need. Do what you love and mean it and it will just be. Penny x

  12. Well said Emma. Thank you for your honesty. You are brilliant :)

    I think my main goal this year is to spend more time with my little girl, shoot a few less weddings, go on a family holiday in August but remain making some kind of a living ;) Who knows if that's achievable!

    Well done on the running. Seriously impressive. I can't run for more than a minute without collapsing!!


  13. love you. Keep it real girlfriend xx

  14. ahh thanks for reminding me of this ted talk, an old favourite i'd forgotten about :) love when you share your thoughts emma case. xx

  15. Thank you for sharing this. x

  16. I love this! I feel ya. Call me weird, but I refuse to get a cell phone because I like to hide out. When I'm out, I'm in the moment - I don't want to be pinning or tweeting, I want some time to myself. Life is busy enough, man! :) Maybe I'll take up jogging, too...Awesome post!

  17. Thanks for sharing this. Running a business, especially from home can really blur boundaries, especially when we end up working late at night. That's one of the things I love about swimming. I can't take my phone to the pool! Well done on the jogging! My current PB is about 3 minutes! haha!